Saturday, June 25, 2011

5 Signs Your Kids Might Be Growing Up Gamers!

by Angie

Here's a few ideas we had for how you might be able to tell if your kids are getting adequate geekery in their lives and are properly developing as little gamers....

1. Your kid has a sketchbook is full of game design ideas.. complete with components breakdown!

Katie's "list" of components for prototyping her new game "Sea"

 2. Your daugther wanders away at the grocery store to find a comfy place to read a game catalog and make sure you aren't missing any upcoming releases

Apparently the beer aisle is both "cool" and relaxing

3. Your little one gives tactical advice to your wargame opponent about your weaknesses and comes up with a winning move!

Katie and Bodhi kickin' my booty at Memoir 44

4. Your kids get up before you to sneak into the gameroom and play games together without you and your silly "rules"

Jack telling Katie "this how you do it!"

5. Your daughter's dream-come-true craft projects are to paint plaster wizards and Warmachine minis with Dad

Can we paint minis today Dad, please? Please?

At ages 2 and 5 our kids have fully embraced our gaming lifestyle. They listen to gaming podcasts with me, never ever turn down an invitation to play a game, and Katie even asked if we could go on a family trip to a gaming convention this summer. What evidence do you have that your gamer training is paying off with the little ones? Are they growing up gamers too? We'd love to hear from you!


  1. As a new dad, I really want to know how you got such awesome budding little gamers! My almost three year old nieces love Memory (though they don't play by the "rules"), what other games for tots do you recommend?

  2. Anon, my kids have really taken to Kids of Carcassonne and Zombie Dice. Both are simple enough for under-fives, but have enough substance to be interesting to adults.

  3. (In fact, you can see my then-4-year-old demonstrating Zombie Dice here:

  4. My Father's Day present was a board-game designed and built by my three-year-old, mostly out of Cheerios and glitter. I can't tell you how proud I was.

  5. @Anonymous: Wow, I think an upcoming topic for a blog post will be games we recommend for lil ones, becuase we get asked that a lot. :) A few off the top of my head that my kids really enjoyed that are appropriate for the toddler age are Froggie Boogie (and many other Blue-Orange games), Disney Yahtzee Jr, Boggle Jr., and Chicken Cha Cha Cha.

    We really think kids can play and enjoy almost any game. I talk about how we have gone about teaching a wide variety of games to our little ones in this post:

    @Charles: Great suggestions, thanks! I dont think we've played either with the kids, yet :) (although I've played Zombie Dice on my iPhone: "dont get shot-gunned!!!")

    @James: That is so fantastic. I want a game made out of cereal and glitter!!!!!

  6. @littlehotshot: I love this! Wish I'd had this list when my kids were younger so I could encourage them in ways other than just playing games. Very clever.

  7. My son just turned 3 and loves playing with my games. Or playing with the components. I pulled out all theft dice from my games and let him play with them. He also likes doing his own thing like stacking cards, or throwing them around (which I'm not fond of, but whatever) or using pawns and dice and the board to play bowling. He also likes playing with coloured cubes in different ways or just to name all the colours.

  8. I'm definitely a gamer dad.

    At age 3 (about to turn 4), my daughter was really interested in me painting my "boy pollies" (boy polly pockets). She really wanted to join in. I had nearly a fully painted Menoth army for Warmachine that I had done, but I promptly sold and/or traded them all off for new Menoth and I let her paint them all. They became quite the hit on the Warmachine forums, dubbed The Easter Egg Menites.

    Last year we picked up the Castle Ravenloft boardgame and it was a blast to play. After playing that for a bit, we even ran through the new DnD 4E Red Box adventure (she's 8 now).

    Just a few weeks ago on Father's day, we picked up the next DnD board game that's similar to Ravenloft: Wrath of Ashardalon. Playing again tonight in fact.

    One of my proudest moments as a gamer dad was during a DnD session at my house. My daughter came in and I asked her "What is your favorite class?" and she said "Wizard!". Then I asked her favorite spell and she said "Magic Missiles". Tear-in-my-eye. ;-)

  9. I totally saw those minis on the PP forums a few years back- Very colorful! I think that is awesome! I think we're going to introduce Katie to RPGs very soon. Once she reads a little better, anyway. Exciting stuff!